The House



The house was built in the 1860s and was named Kingsley. It has been an elegant homestead that has had several loving families sharing its space over the years. In the 1950’s the house was home to the Mayor of St Kilda. Around the early 1980’s the house was handed to the community to become a resource for everyone and has now been the centre of community work for Elwood and St. Kilda for over 30 years. Hence the name: “Elwood St. Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre” . We are a centre for adult education and community support. Our organisation provides social, education and recreational activities in a supportive and welcoming environment.

ESNLC Inc. was established by enthusiastic volunteers at a well-attended public meeting in July 1983, and the organisation’s Constitution was set in place.  By October that year activities such as playgroups, aerobics, drawing, sewing, knitting, craft and yoga were running. There was also a women’s discussion group and participation from the local Polish community. On four days a week the Centre hosted ‘Drop-in Time’.  In March 1984 the first Coordinator was appointed by the Committee of Management (COM), to assist with the increased use of the House. The following year saw the establishment of the Elwood Toy Library, a major project that provided local families with access to good quality toys for a minimal annual fee.  On 10th May 1986 disaster struck; fire caused the House to close its doors for six months. Activities slowly resumed in the freshly painted and re-carpeted building and the program continued to grow.  Elwood Primary School set up their After School Care Program here in 1988 and by 1989 the House was open 7 days a week, offering educational and recreational classes and community self-help groups.  To assist in the organisation of this activity 10 hours of coordination funding was provided by Community Services Victoria.



To be a warm, vibrant and inclusive hub, supporting, educating and empowering members of the Elwood and St Kilda communities, with links to surrounding communities.


To provide a quality learning environment and opportunities for community connection through the active commitment of the ESNLC committee, staff, teachers and volunteers.


ESNLC has provided services to the local community for 30 years. The centre is among other things a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) conducting accredited and non- accredited vocational training. Literacy, English as an Additional Language (EAL) and various levels of computer training are our strengths. Whilst we rely on individuals to take up our services we also work in partnership with local employment and social support organisations to develop learning programs the work toward building community resilience and social capital. Learning demonstrably improves people’s life chances, mental health and positive community engagement.

Not for profit

Our programs are very inexpensive because our aim is to educate and sustain an operation for people in need, not to do business. We want to help those who have not been able to complete their education due to lack of finances, lack of language learning or any other obstacles that may have prevented to finish their education. In order to sustain the operation we are also working on a program of short courses with highly qualified instructors to offer the professional community of Port Phillip an alternative to learn and recreate themselves.

Our supporters

We are able to prepare and deliver our courses thanks to the support of Victorian State Government through Skills Victoria and Learn Local and City of Port Phillip (CoPP). Other programs are developed thanks to a variety of grants. Sometimes, we receive donations from private businesses. If you would like to support one of our programs, please contact us.

Thinking of joining us?

Why not click on this link to find out more?